Your time is valuable. As a small business owner you are surely wearing many hats in your business and hopefully keeping up with all of the day to day “stuff” that needs to happen to manage your personal life. And, as we have all heard before, time cannot be replenished.
How discerning are you with your time? Do you let other people decide how your time will be spent? Do you plan your day with regards to how you might get the most out of your time? Or do you get up and just start going, resulting in focusing on action, but not necessarily priority? Our even worse, do you just start your day without a plan and realize once you have pilfered half the day that there were 2-3 very important things that you totally forgot about?
People ask me all often how I can work and take care of my family and seem to get it all done. Actually, I don’t necessarily get it all done, however, I do prioritize. I do plan my time. And I try to set reasonable boundaries on allowing others to take control of my time – especially my kids.
A couple of tips that help me:
- I try to have at least 30 minutes in the morning to pray, read the bible and/or journal. This helps to ground me in the things that are important and continuously align myself with God’s will.
- I always write down in the morning the top 3 things I need to get accomplished that day. I may not go back and look at it, but it is now seeded in my head.
- Usually if one of those top 3 items is multi-faceted or difficult for me, I start running through it in my head. What steps need to take place? What is the easiest, most efficient way to accomplish this? With everything else I need to do today, what is the most effective order to fit it all in?
I think this last tip helps me the most. I can be thinking about what I need to accomplish while I am in the shower or driving i.e. a time when I can’t get other things done. Then when I finally start to work on something; I have a head start. I already know where I am going to begin and what I believe to be the best approach. This is great for tasks but is even more helpful on communication and relationship issues. Taking time to think through your communication and approach can save hours in misunderstanding and fixing.
It is your time. Be a good steward of it and choose proactively how you will spend the precious moments of your life.
Holly Rabalais says
I find this approach to be helpful as well…except I usually don’t do it until I’m in the car or until I get to the office. It certainly makes more sense to put the priorities to paper before I get moving in the morning. As a “thinker”–someone who needs to mull over a task and make sure I’m going about it the best way–I could get my churning brain more focused by following these tips.
Funny how we have to be reminded of the small things that make the most impact!